Carbon Emissions: Where the major global retailers stand

The Confronting Climate Change Initiative (CCC) was launched by the South African wine and fruit sector to enable growers and service providers to manage the risks associated with carbon emissions, relating both to associated environmental impacts and consumer and retailer pressure for emissions accountability. As a result, we were very interested in where the major global retailers actually stand with respect to their emissions targets and progress to date, relating to both operational emissions and emissions generated across their respective supply chains.

 

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The South African carbon tax and how it relates to agriculture

The proposed South African carbon tax is outlined in the summary below, followed by a more in-depth breakdown of the tax mechanism and how it relates to agriculture, derived from the Carbon Tax Policy Paper (2013).

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Blue North Welcomes New Associates

With the increasing scope of Blue North’s work, we are very pleased to welcome two new associates to the team: Lorren de Kock and Anél Blignaut.

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Sustainable Fruit Initiative – Progress Update

standalone45mmMuch progress has been made in the development of the Sustainable Fruit Initiative over the last few months. As the Grabouw pilot programme draws to a close, we have begun to engage with commercial farming entities in the Eastern Cape. Here we lay out the structure, processes and insights that have evolved through our engagement in the Grabouw pilot region.

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Announcement: The Carbon Trust recognises the CCC Carbon Footprinting Tool managed by Blue North.

Blue North is very pleased to announce that the Carbon Trust has recently completed an independent audit of the Carbon Footprinting Tool that forms a key part of the South African Fruit and Wine Industry’s Confronting Climate Change (CCC) Initiative, one of Blue North’s strategic projects in the industry. Read more

Why modern agriculture leads unavoidably to ecological degradation

To the casual observer on a trip through the countryside, the idea that farming inherently degrades the environment may seem counter-intuitive. After all, we escape to the rural parts of the country in order to “return to nature” and experience a gentler and a more environmentally wholesome way of life, particularly when compared to that which we experience in urban/industrial settings – we go to the country to get away from the smokestacks, smog, traffic and pollution.But beneath the verdant appearance of our agricultural landscapes, the same system features that manifest in the “ills” we associate with urban/industrial settings are very much present and at work.

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Sustainable Fruit Initiative – Pilot Programme

WWF-SA is launching a sustainability initiative tailored to the South African fruit sector, and has engaged Blue North Sustainability (Pty) Ltd to assist in its development and implementation. The Sustainable Fruit Initiative (SFI) is focussed on supporting the achievement of environmentally sustainable farming in the fruit industry, and will ultimately become the environmental “pillar” of SIZA (Sustainable Fruit Initiative South Africa, which is socially focused).

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The evolution of sustainability agendas in global agri supply-chains – David Farrell’s trip to the UK

Visiting the UK and meeting with different people across UK agri supply-chains is always accompanied by discussions around the subject of sustainability – certain concepts and assumptions are affirmed, others challenged, and new perspectives and priorities are brought to the fore. At a minimum, the rapidly evolving and shifting nature of this field is confirmed. These visits are obviously extremely valuable to the shaping of our thinking at Blue North, and below I have shared some thoughts and insights from my latest trip:

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Line in the Sand: When will voluntary sustainability strategies form part of business practice?

There is always a line in the sand – that point in time when things change, or a new direction is taken. Much of the work we do at Blue North is related to assisting leading agri-businesses to improve their supply chain efficiencies: making outputs exceed inputs, and reducing waste and environmental impact where possible.

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Renewable Energy in the South African Fruit Sector

It is exciting to see the increasing use of renewable energy in the South Africa fruit sector.  With the recent year-on-year increases in the cost of electricity, and further above-inflation increases expected, combined with the massive reduction in the cost of renewable energy solutions, we have now reached the crossover point where renewable energy solutions are making financial sense.

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